It speaks volumes that Shane Lowry likens his strong form leading into this week’s PGA Championship as pretty much the same as his form three years ago heading into the 2019 Open Championship.
Lowry’s record in the four individual men’s Majors reads impressively, with a win at The Open, a second at the US Open, a third last month at The Masters and a share of fourth a year ago at the PGA Championship.
The Clara golfer has also enjoyed three other top-10s at the game’s highest level, two of those three were in the PGA Championship, with the 104th hosting getting underway on Thursday on the Southern Hills course in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
This week is Lowry’s 12th PGA Championship showing but a first on the host Tulsa course that last staged a men’s major in hosting the 2007 PGA Championship.
As a major champion, and coming off a great showing a month ago at Augusta National, Lowry has to be a strong contender to match the efforts of fellow Irish players Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy in being presented with the Rodman Wanamaker trophy. And boosting Lowry’s goal to win for a second time at the game’s highest level is, as he says, his results this 2022 season.
“I think it’s pretty similar. Like if I go back and look at my form going into The Open in 2019, I think my form was pretty good,” said Lowry. “I’d won early in the year in Europe, and finished third in Hilton Head and second in Canada. So, I was playing quite good, consistent golf that summer.
“This year I went close to winning the Honda, my best finish of third at The Masters, so it’s pretty similar, so yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s better. It’s probably the same. Hopefully I can get some similar results in the next few months”.
While it has been three years since those highly-emotional scenes at Royal Portrush, and though Lowry’s name forever will appear on the Claret Jug, the now 35-year-old is not about to rest on his lone Major Championship laurel.
“Look, I’d love to win, obviously I’d love to win more majors”, he said. “ But I don’t think that’s a given. I think that’s just kind of something that you need to go out and work towards, and if it comes your way, you need to take it. It’s one of those where you get four of them a year.
“It’s hard to peak your game for those weeks. It’s hard to peak your mental attitude for those weeks. You just need everything to be in the right place to win those tournaments because it’s so hard to win out here in regular events, let alone majors.
“My expectations for the rest of my career? If I was to finish with no more majors, would I be okay with that? Yeah. But I do want more. I am very driven and a very competitive guy. I know I want to win more majors, and I want to win more tournaments.
“But would I be happy when I’m finished with what I have now? Yeah, I suppose I would. But that doesn’t make me any less driven”.
Earlier this week, Lowry got a first look at Southern Hills in an all-Irish practice round fourball, teaming up with Seamus Power and halving their match against the PGA Championship winning pair of Harrington and McIlroy.
“We did the same at The Masters. Seamus is in all the majors this year now for the first time”, said Lowry
“It was nice to be able to accumulate a four-ball on Tuesday afternoon at a tournament like this, and just go out and enjoy it and play a game against each other. Myself and Seamus, we got unlucky. We halved the match, but it was just four Irish lads out there having a good time and getting to know the golf course.
“You learn bits from days like that, but it’s hard to put your finger on what they are”.
IRISH TEE TIMES (Irish time)
Padraig Harrington – 1.06pm (1st tee)
Rory McIlroy – 1.11pm (10th tee alongside Tiger Woods)
Seamus Power – 5.58pm (1st tee)
Shane Lowry – 6.03pm (10th tee)